Ad­mit­tedly, the im­age of hon­ey­moon­ers loung­ing be­side the pool was my first thought be­fore I ar­rived at Anan­tara Dhigu Mal­dives Re­sort, a 35-minute speed­boat ride from Malé’s air­port ma­rina. Strolling around the is­land at sun­rise, how­ever, and it quickly be­came clear that this iden­tity was shift­ing. Tod­dlers join their par­ents in an ear­ly­morn­ing swim and, at the cen­tre of the re­sort, the Dhoni Club an­tic­i­pates young trav­ellers with a tree­house, a colour­ful climb­ing wall and land-bound dhoni boats burst­ing with arts, crafts and ed­u­ca­tional dis­cov­ery.

Di­ver­sions such as ham­mocks, pé­tanque courts and over­sized chess boards wait around ev­ery cor­ner, bikes are the pre­ferred mode of trans­port, and the beach swing and wa­ter ham­mock of­fer per­fect photo opps; I lost half an hour try­ing to clam­ber onto the seat of one of the la­goon swings dur­ing low tide. A jour­ney out to the pri­vate pic­nic is­land of Gul­hi­fushi guar­an­tees a day of sun-soaked fun, with din­ing fa­cil­i­ties, pris­tine wa­ters, beach games and kites.

The Sun­set Fam­ily Villa of­fers plenty of space, with a pint-sized bath­room for the lit­tle ones and an out­door bath­room with ter­razzo tub for mum and dad.

Just across the la­goon from Dhigu is Anan­tara Veli, a cou­ples-only sis­ter re­sort, and Nal­adhu, Anan­tara’s re­treat where any­thing is pos­si­ble. The Two Bed­room Pool Res­i­dence, fac­ing out to the mes­meris­ing ocean waves, is the choice for fam­i­lies, with a twin bed­room, a but­ler’s kitchen and the ex­clu­sive House Mas­ter ser­vice cater­ing for any de­sire.

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